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Travel with baby in Palermo - with ear infection

Palermo with baby… with ear infection. Fortunately it struck after our arrival and cleared before our return!

Before I had children, I rarely considered travel insurance. Of course, travel cost a lot less then (two roundtrip tickets to Paris were $900 including taxes – and we could live on bread), and I was never terribly concerned with getting sick before a trip.

Three children later, I can tell you I’ve sweated through weeks leading up to travel with flu sweeping through the household and worries that somebody among us would end up with an ear infection or worse just before the outbound flight. When I’ve purchased it in the past, trip insurance has definitely lightened the stress-load before a big trip with the kids.

Earlier this year, I made a mistake – and then paid for it. I got a great deal on last-minute airfare, and didn’t think about insuring the trip. I’m not doing that this time around. I purchased (on my own dime) family trip insurance from Allianz. It cost so much less than I expected for our family of 5, and I was amazed by the value of what’s covered. So for any of you wondering if you should insure your family’s upcoming vacation, consider these points:

  1. Children under 18 years are covered free with Allianz. Amazingly, I was able to insure the 5 of us for our upcoming trip for less than the cost of the air taxes on ONE of our airplane tickets.
  2. Change fees stink, especially when multiplied by three or more passengers. For a trip earlier this year, I got such a great deal on a flight that I was busy celebrating the bargain I got instead of fearing every possible thing that might prevent us from flying as planned. So when I ended up having to change our departure date for an unexpected reason – the $100 change fee multiplied by the 5 of us hurt. But it was a good wake-up call.
  3. Ear infections happen. If you have a very young child, one of the most nerve-wracking possibilities before travel is that he or she might develop an ear infection right before (or during) your trip. With the right trip insurance, any diagnosed illness that might creep up on any member of your insured party and prevent you from traveling on your schedule will be covered. What’s more, with our Allianz Classic Plan, any resulting change and/or delay fees for the rest of the family will be covered as well.
  4. Frequent flyer miles can be protected, too. Let’s face it, when you cash in 160,000 frequent flier miles to make your dream trip a reality, those miles are every bit as precious as any dollars you’ve saved up as well. While you might be able to recoup your frequent flier miles if you cancel before your first flight, there are still redeposit fees for those miles that can really add up as well. With our current trip insurance plan, we’re covered.
  5. Vacation rental deposits are paid in advance—and aren’t usually refundable. Unlike hotel reservations, where you may be able to give a simple 24-hour notice to get out of paying for a room, vacation rentals, apartments and condos usually require a sizable deposit well in advance of your stay. Furthermore, some will charge the balance or additional fees before you even head to the airport. If you have to delay your trip, it may be impossible to reschedule the same rental at a later time, and it may be just as unlikely you’ll see your deposit—or possibly the balance if you have to postpone or cancel your trip at the last minute.

I have to say, I’m sleeping a lot better knowing that we’ve got protection on all of these points, not to mention several others you’ll see listed in the Classic Plan (emergency medical and dental to $25k, lost baggage, missed connections…). Note: This post was not sponsored by Allianz and was my own (as you can imagine) inspiration. However, Allianz is a current advertiser at TravelswithBaby.com and any purchase of insurance after clicking through this link will pad my pain au chocolate fund. Merci!

How about you? Do you insure your family’s trips? Have you had to use travel insurance at any time in your own travels?

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Safe journeys,

Shelly Rivoli, Author of the award-winning Travels with Baby and Take-Along Travels with Baby 

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